Potenza RF Acne Scar Series
The Potenza RF by Cynosure is the very latest RF microneedling device used by specialist dermatologists for acne scarring. It employs super fine microneedles coupled with radiofrequency energy that is delivered into the deeper layers of skin. This remodels & regenerates collagen, in turn correcting acne scars.
Potenza Radiofrequency Acne Scar Series Summarised
- Potenza RF microneedling is a solution for deep atrophic rolling scars
- This treatment is ideal for patients with little to no downtime
- Potenza works by breaking up scar tissue & stimulating collagen production
- Recovery can be tailored from 1 to 3 days
- Potenza microneedling is suitable for all skin types, including ethnic patients
- A series of 3 sessions is ideal for most scar types
- Sessions start from only $790* per session *Total package $2370 for 3 sessions
Why has Potenza been chosen for your acne scar type?
Potenza RF microneedling is the treatment of choice for patients who have specific scar types, including rolling & atrophic acne scars. It is the solution for those who want results, but do not have recovery time.
What is Potenza RF?
Potenza is the very latest microneedling device that employs radiofrequency energy. Unlike ‘cold’ microneedling, radiofrequency employs controlled heating. This stimulates collagen 10X more effectively than microneedles alone.
Every aspect of treatment can be tailored to the patient, including depth of penetration, coverage & intensity. This provides unparalleled results with minimal recovery time.
How many sessions will I require?
As a rule, a series of three sessions is required for optimal gains. Each session is spaced between 4 to 12 weeks apart. For cases of severe & or resistant acne scarring, an additional 1- 3 sessions are required.
Is it painful?
Treatments are well tolerated as we use specialist strength numbing gel. For more involved cases we use laughing gas or blocks to ensure comfort levels.
What is the recovery time following Potenza RF?
Recovery is typically less than 36 hours & is ideally suited for patients who have little downtime. In comparison, lasers treatment may take up to 8 days to heal.
How is it different from laser?
Think of RF as the opposite end of the spectrum as a laser. Lasers work from the outside of the skin to the deeper layers of skin. Radiofrequency works from the inside out. This has one major advantage- less downtime & faster recovery as compared to lasers.
Lasers are useful for superficial acne scars as well as pigment, whilst RF energy is best for deeper scars such as rolling atrophic scarring.
|Treatment type||Recovery||Scar type||Comments|
|RF Microneedling |
|Fast! 1-2 days with minimal recovery.||Deeper scars, mixed scars.||Less skin colour changes in darker skin.|
|Fractional laser |
|2-8 days with longer recovery,||Superficial acne scars,||More skin colour changes in darker skin.|
How is RFM Potenza different from microneedling?
Potenza RF microneedling Brisbane is vastly different from microneedling (which I group as an at home treatment). The main difference is that RFM uses controlled heating delivered via high tech insulated needles to the deeper parts of skin.
With temperatures reaching close to 70 degrees Celsius, RF remodels acne scars & stimulates collagen production far more effectively than cold steel microneedling.
What types of acne scars are best treated with Potenza?
Our signature acne scar series is applied for patients who have mixed acne scars using the eCO2, Ultrapulse Alpha or the Alma Hybrid laser.
Book an appointment with our nurses to understand what type of acne scars you have & how to best approach your scar revision.
Can all skin types be treated with RF Potenza?
All skin types can be safely treated with RF microneedling as energy is delivered into the deeper layers of skin. In contrast, lasers are delivered to the upper layers of skin, hence increasing the chances of pigmentation. This is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH.
Thus, in the context of skin colour changes, Potenza RF microneedling is far safer than laser resurfacing.
Will all my scars go with RF microneedling?
This program is designed to globally improve acne scars; hence some will remain, others will improve, & some may be completely corrected. We may employ surgical, laser, peeling or other techniques to treat these resistant scars.
*Some scar types are beyond the treatment by your nurse or therapist. For complex cases of scar revision, I may be involved in treatment. My scope of work is surgical & based in an operating theatre. This will incur additional costs to your scar revision program. All patients are made aware of this prior to your treatments.
Can other treatments be combined with Potenza?
Most patients who enter the Potenza program would not require adjunctive treatments, however in some cases your nurse or therapist may recommend minimally invasive treatments such as –
- TCA paint or CROSS
- Collagen stimulating injectables
- Limited lasers including fractional, vascular or Picosure Pro laser
What is the cost of treatment?
Potenza RF microneedling cost $890 per session, inclusive of theatre & anaesthetic costs. A series of 3 treatments cost $2370 (saving $300).
*Acne Scar Laser Series treatment package is more cost effective at $2135 for a series of 3 sessions. Though lasers are an excellent way to treat acne scars, they have a longer recovery time as compared to microneedling RF. Lasers are best used for more superficial acne scar patterns.
Who performs this treatment?
Treatments are performed by my nurses & dermal clinicians trained in non-invasive acne scar revision. My team are also trained in other aspects of scar revision including the use of CO2, Hybrid, pico & vascular lasers in addition to dermal fillers.
How does Potenza compare to Morpheus8 RF microneedling?
Both devices are excellent in the field of RF microneedling with around 50-60% the power of Genius RFM & equal to the older Infini RF devices (with some differences, see below).
Potenza RFM has the edge when it comes to comfort levels & ability to deliver topicals into the deeper parts of skin simultaneously, whilst Morpheus8 has the edge when it comes to multiple level treatments (though Potenza has the tiger tip), & deeper treatment depths (which is irrelevant in the context of acne scar treatments).
What about Potenza versus Genius RFM, Infini, Secret & Intensif?
We have experience in most RF systems as Cutis Dermatology is a testing & research centre for many companies. At any given time, we have a selection of radiofrequency microneedling devices. Most devices can deliver similar total energy to the treated area. The variation is within the number of pulses delivered. Read below for Davin’s experience on RF devices over the past 12 years.
What are the potential complications of RF micro needling?
Complications are rare following radiofrequency microneedling. In most cases it is related to the depth of needle delivery as well as skin type/colour. As a guide, the shallower the treatment, the higher the incidence of pigmentation changes.
Side effects include –
- Infection: less than 2%.
- Grids & visible dots: less than 4%, more common in darker skin types.
- Prolonged pigmentation lasting greater than 4 weeks: less than 4%.
- Scarring: less than 0.5%.
- Prolonged redness: may last longer than 3 weeks, around 3% of cases.
Side effects are higher in higher power settings & more superficial treatments.
Can Potenza be performed whilst on Oratane – Accutane?
Yes. Studies have shown that RF microneedling is safe whilst on Accutane. We normally stop your medication the day of treatment & recommence 5-7 days post RF.
What factors govern who will respond best to Potenza RF microneedling?
Factors can be divided into scar types, location, & immune response.
Firstly, consider scar types. Rolling & atrophic acne scars do best, followed by shallow box car acne scars. Ice pick scars, as well as pigmented acne scars are not suitable for microneedling.
Location: cheek, neck & temple scars respond best to RF microneedling, whilst forehead scars are relatively resistant to RFM.
Immune response: is a biggie. This depends on your ability to generate & remodel collagen. Keeping acne under absolute control gives the best results.
What is the MOST important factor to consider when undergoing acne scar revision?
The most important factor to consider (by far) is control of acne. Ideally this means zero acne (or within reason 1-3 pimples per month, at maximum). Why is this important? Inflammation. For example, it is impossible to build muscle tissue if you injure yourself- even if it is a tiny muscle tear. Your body is not interested in building muscle, it is more concerned about subsiding the inflammation & healing your muscle strain. The same applies to skin & collagen regeneration.
On this basis my team & I will refer you to a medical dermatologist for further management during the revision process. It is in your best interest.
What RF device do I use in Sydney for acne scar revision?
At Clinic DVP in Sydney, my team employs the Secret RFM. This device is a few years older than Potenza, however it is still a very good machine. As a guide we increase the power of the Secret RFM to match more powerful device such as Potenza, Infini or Genius RF.
Davin’s thoughts on RF microneedling using the Potenza by Cynosure
This will be divided into the following topics-
- When is RF most useful for acne scarring?
- What the pros & cons of RF microneedling for scars?
- Why do settings matter more than devices?
When is RF useful for acne scars? In my scope of practice, RFM is most useful for patients who do not have downtime. Realistically that is 98% of us. RF is the inverse of laser, namely it spares the epidermis & delivers the bulk of its energy in pre-determined levels of the skin. In the context of acne scars, the sweet depth is between 0.5 to 1.75 mm, maxing out at 2.25 mm for deep scars. The downtime following RFM ranges between 1-2 days for max depth. In contrast with fractional lasers the recovery ranges between 2 days (HALO & Hybrid lasers) to over 8 days (eCO2 & Ultrapulse Alpha laser).
Pros & cons? Pros include short recovery times; less skin colour changes whilst cons are that RF is best used for deep scarring. Lasers & peels are more effective & efficient at treating superficial scar signatures including box car & pick scars.
Settings. They matter. All devices including lasers, HIFU, RF, RFM & others depend on the settings. They are instruments, much like an electric sander used to sand down wood. Give the same device to novices & the results are very different from a well-trained tradie. In truth I can get very similar results from Secret RF, Morpheus8, Genius RFM, Infini RF, Intensif & even first generation Intracel devices. The variables that come into play are –
- Needle number. The more needles the more efficient, the less number of passes. For Potenza my default is 49 needles. Depth in the context of acne scarring is irrelevant (I don’t buy the Morpheus8 deeper treatment depth debate as acne scars don’t usually lie beyond 2.25 to 2.5 mm).
- PD or pulse duration. Though I do have devices that deliver energy over one second, this is again irrelevant in the context of scar management as PDs, though extended for better or more precise coagulation. The sweet spot is a PD that is not too short, but not too long, with the balance of power, depth & resistance.
Summary: RF microneedling is a valuable addition to scar remodelling; especially if downtime is an issue. This treatment is ideal for busy patients & for specific scar types, namely rolling atrophic scars. Specifically, low to low-medium volume changes. For high volume deficit scarring, dermal fillers & or collagen stimulating injectables are required. That’s another discussion.
Dr Davin Lim